The Amazon

Last week we went on a 4 day trip to Manu national park, which is part of the Amazon rainforest. We stayed for one night in the cloudforest, which is similar to the rainforest, but a higher altitude, and with lots of clouds (no surprises there). It looks like this:

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As you can see, the main features were clouds and trees, though we did see some of Peru’s national bird, called ‘the cock of the rock’ – not sure quite who decided that this was a good name for a bird. It was bright red, redder than any bird I’ve ever seen, and we found ourselves peering into trees with binoculars like the most avid of bird watchers. I don’t think I had any clue that Peru was such a bird lovers’ haven before arriving and at least half our touristy activities seem to have some sort of bird involved (see Gavin the condor) but there you go… We were rather distracted that morning (by that I mean that I was rather distracted) because we knew that mods results had come out that morning in England, but without phone or Internet signal had absolutely no way of getting them. By chance and completely unexpectedly, a tiny village we passed through had a shack with a couple of computers in – called an internet cafe but rather more ancient than any internet cafes I’ve seen in Europe – we had been told that the rainforest had absolutely no mobile coverage so the sight of this little hut brought immense joy. The rest of the group didn’t quite understand why we were in such a fuss to stop off but luckily obliged us. I’d like to bet that not many people have got mods results in the middle of the jungle!

Then we stayed two nights in Erika Lodge, in the actual rainforest. It looks like this (the river is a tributary of the Amazon):

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Activities here included jungle walks (very hot and sticky) and zip-lining, and…yet more animal spotting:

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Spot the large animal related to a guinea pig, the snake that almost bit us, the baby sloth (so cute) and the cheeky monkey. One afternoon we went on barca boats in a jungle oxbow lake – who knew that oxbow lakes actually existed? I always thought they were just invented by bored geography teachers… Anyway turns out that barca boats are pretty similar to Oxford punts:CIMG4523

Generally a great trip, despite the mosquitoes, various unsavoury creepy crawlies, the 5am starts each morning and the cold showers…

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